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  • 1.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fire history in the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of southern Sweden during 11000 years: Relationships with past vegetation composition and human activities and implications for biodiversity issues2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis studies fire history over the last 11 000 years (Holocene) in central Småland, southern Sweden, on the basis of palaeoecological analyses of peat sequences from three small bogs (Notteryd, Stavsåkra and Storasjö). The main objective is to gain insights into the long-term relationships between fire, climate, human-impact, other environmental factors and the history of biodiversity in the study region. The following hypotheses are tested: 1) there are no between-site differences in i) Holocene fire history, ii) abundance of deciduous trees versus pine and forest openness over the Holocene, and iii) landscape history over the last three centuries, and 2) there are no within-site differences in the Holocene charcoal records.

    Hypothesis 1 (i-iii) is tested using all charcoal records (three sites) and pollen-based Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) estimates of past percentage cover of plant taxa and land-use/vegetation units over the last three centuries (test of the LRA using historical maps), and the entire Holocene. Hypothesis 2 is tested using two parallel charcoal records from the same core at Notteryd. The charcoal data comprise continuous records of macroscopic charcoal (macro-C), microscopic charcoal records from pollen slides, and identification of charcoal fragments to plant taxa. Chronologies are based on series of 14C dates from terrestrial plant remains and age-depth models achieved using Bayesian statistics.

    Accumulation rates (AR) of the area of macro-C was found to be better to use than AR of the number of macro-C for interpretation of the results. Within-site differences in charcoal records exist and have to be considered. Besides climate, forest tree-composition (related to geomorphological settings) was shown to play a primordial role in Early and Mid-Holocene fire history, while land-use was a major factor in the Late Holocene. Three different histories of forest development and land-use changes within the same region are revealed, implying a multitude of landscape types over time and space. These long-term landscape histories were at the origin of the high biodiversity still existing in the 18th century. Major landscape transformations due to agrarian reforms since the 18th century resulted in a dramatic loss of landscape and species biodiversity over the last two centuries.

  • 2.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Gaillard, Marie-José
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Olsson, Fredrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Sugita, Shinya
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Holocene local forest history at two sites in Småland, southern Sweden: Insights from quantitative reconstruction using the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Gaillard, Marie-José
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Stenberg, Li
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Lund University.
    Sugita, Shinya
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Tallinn University, Estonia.
    Zernova, Ganna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Historical land-use and landscape change in southern Sweden and implications for present and future biodiversity2014In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 4, no 18, p. 3555-3570Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The two major aims of this study are (1) To test the performance of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) to quantify past landscape changes using historical maps and related written sources, and (2) to use the LRA and map reconstructions for a better understanding of the origin of landscape diversity and the recent loss of species diversity. Southern Sweden, hemiboreal vegetation zone. The LRA was applied on pollen records from three small bogs for four time windows between AD 1700 and 2010. The LRA estimates of % cover for woodland/forest, grassland, wetland, and cultivated land were compared with those extracted from historical maps within 3-km radius around each bog. Map-extracted land-use categories and pollen-based LRA estimates (in % cover) of the same land-use categories show a reasonable agreement in several cases; when they do not agree, the assumptions used in the data (maps)-model (LRA) comparison are a better explanation of the discrepancies between the two than possible biases of the LRA modeling approach. Both the LRA reconstructions and the historical maps reveal between-site differences in landscape characteristics through time, but they demonstrate comparable, profound transformations of the regional and local landscapes over time and space due to the agrarian reforms in southern Sweden during the 18th and 19th centuries. The LRA was found to be the most reasonable approach so far to reconstruct quantitatively past landscape changes from fossil pollen data. The existing landscape diversity in the region at the beginning of the 18th century had its origin in the long-term regional and local vegetation and land-use history over millennia. Agrarian reforms since the 18th century resulted in a dramatic loss of landscape diversity and evenness in both time and space over the last two centuries leading to a similarly dramatic loss of species (e.g., beetles).

  • 4.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Gaillard, Marie-José
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Sugita, Shinya
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Tallinn University.
    Greisman, Annica
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Jacobson, George
    The University of Malne.
    Olsson, Fredrik
    Umeå University.
    The role of tree composition in Holocene fire history of the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of southern Sweden, as revealed by the application of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm: Implications for biodiversity and climate-change issues2013In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 23, no 12, p. 1747-1763Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present a quantitative reconstruction of local forest history at two sites, Stavsåkra (hemiboreal zone) and Storasjö (southern boreal zone), in southern Sweden (province of Småland) to evaluate possible causes of contrasting Holocene fire histories in mid- and late Holocene. The Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) is applied to evaluate between-site differences in the relative abundance of deciduous trees and Pinus (pine) and landscape/woodland openness during the Holocene. The LRA estimates of local vegetation abundance are compared with other proxies of local vegetation, that is, plant and beetle remains. The LRA results suggest that Pinus was a major tree taxon in the woodlands of Storasjö during mid- and late Holocene, while Tilia(linden) and Betula (birch) were dominant at Stavsåkra. The contrasting fire histories are shown to be strongly related to between-site differences in tree composition during mid-Holocene, 4000–2000 BC in particular. The archaeological/historical and beetle data indicate contrasting land uses from c. 1000BC (late Bronze Age/early Iron Age), grazing in open Calluna heaths at Stavsåkra and woodland grazing at Storasjö. Between-site differences in fire historyduring late Holocene were likely due to different land-use practices. Between-site differences in tree composition in mid-Holocene are best explainedby local climatic and geological/geomorphological differences between the hemiboreal and southern boreal zones of Småland, which might also be the primary cause of between-site differences in land-use histories during late Holocene. Maintenance of biodiversity at the landscape scale in the studyarea requires that existing old pine woodlands and Calluna heath are managed with fire and cattle grazing. Further climate warming might lead to higherprobabilities of climate-induces fire, in particular in pine-dominated woodlands.

  • 5.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples Republic of China.
    Gaillard, Marie-José
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Olsson, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    Greisman, Annica
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Zernova, Ganna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    A case study of the role of climate, humans, and ecological setting in Holocene fire history of northwestern Europe2015In: Science China. Earth Sciences, ISSN 1674-7313, E-ISSN 1869-1897, Vol. 58, no 2, p. 195-210Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present the major results from studies of fire history over the last 11000 years (Holocene) in southern Sweden, on the basis of palaeoecological analyses of peat sequences from three small peat bogs. The main objective is to emphasize the value of multiple, continuous sedimentary records of macroscopic charcoal (macro-C) for the reconstruction of local to regional past changes in fire regimes, the importance of multi-proxy studies, and the advantage of model-based estimates of plant cover from pollen data to assess the role of tree composition and human impact in fire history. The chronologies at the three study sites are based on a large number of C-14 dates from terrestrial plant remains and age-depth models are achieved using Bayesian statistics. Fire history is inferred from continuous records of macro-C and microscopic charcoal counts on pollen slides. The Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) for pollen-based quantitative reconstruction of local vegetation cover is applied on the three pollen records for plant cover reconstruction over the entire Holocene. The results are as follows: (1) the long-term trends in fire regimes are similar between sites, i.e., frequent fires during the early Holocene until ca. 9 ka BP, low fire frequency during the mid-Holocene, and higher fire frequency from ca. 2.5 ka BP; (2) this broad trend agrees with the overall fire history of northwestern and western Europe north of the Mediterranean area, and is due to climate forcing in the early and mid-Holocene, and to anthropogenic land-use in the late Holocene; (3) the LRA estimates of plant cover at the three sites demonstrate that the relative abundance of pine played a primordial role in the early and mid-Holocene fire history; and (4) the between-site differences in the charcoal records and inferred fire history are due to local factors (i.e., relative abundance of pine, geomorphological setting, and anthropogenic land-use) and taphonomy of charcoal deposition in the small peat bogs. It is shown that continuous macro-C records are most useful to disentangle local from regional-subcontinental fire history, and climate-induced from human-induced fire regimes, and that pollen-based LRA estimates of local plant cover are more adequate than pollen percentages for the assessment of the role of plant composition on fire history.

  • 6.
    Gaillard, Marie-José
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fyfe, Ralph
    University of Plymouth, UK.
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Mazier, Florence
    University of Toulouse, France.
    Nielsen, Anne Birgitte
    Lund University.
    Poska, Anneli
    Lund University.
    Strandberg, Gustav
    Rossby Centre.
    Sugita, Shinya
    University of Tallinn, Estonia.
    Trondman, Anna-Kari
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    From land cover-climate relationships at the subcontinental scale to land cover-environment relationships at the regional and local spatial scale – the contribution of pollen-based quantitative reconstructions of vegetation cover using the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm approach2014In: Towards a more accurate quantification of human-environment interactions in the past: Open PAGES Focus 4 Workshop Human-Climate-Ecosystem Interactions University of Leuven, Belgium 3-7 February 2014, 2014, p. 25-26Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (Sugita 2007a,b) includes two models, REVEALS (Regional Estimates of VEgetation Abundance from Large Sites) that estimates vegetation abundance (% cover) within an area of ca. 100 km x 100 km, and LOVE (LOcal Vegetation Estimates) that estimates vegetation abundance at the local spatial scale, i.e. within the Relevant Source Area of Pollen (RSAP sensu Sugita, 2004) that is the smallest area around the study site for which the reconstruction is valid. The RSAP is estimated by the LOVE model and varies between sites and vegetation settings; so far, it was estimated to vary between < 1 - < 10 km in most ecological settings of the Holocene in NW Europe. We used the REVEALS model and over 600 pollen records from pollen data bases and individual researchers to reconstruct land-cover in NW Europe N of the Alps for key time windows of the Holocene in order to assess model-based reconstructions of anthropogenic land-cover change (ALCC) (e.g. Kaplan et al., 2009) and model (LPJ-GUESS) simulations of past potential (climate-induced vegetation), and to study past land cover – climate interactions using a regional climate model (RCA3). We used the REVEALS model and the complete LRA approach (REVEALS + LOVE models) along with two pollen records from large lakes and three pollen records from small bogs to reconstruct the local-scale land-cover in central Småland, southern Sweden, to study the relationship between vegetation composition, fire, climate and human impact at the regional and local spatial scales with the objective to discuss biodiversity issues. Our results suggest that i) past subcontinental to regional ALCC did influence regional climate through biogeophysical processes at the landatmosphere interface (Strandberg et al., submitted), and ii) local land-cover change, both natural and anthropogenic, govern environmental changes such as fire and biodiversity (Cui et al., 2013; Cui et al., submitted).

  • 7. Gaillard, Marie-José
    et al.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Trondman, Anna-Kari
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    The potential of pollen-based quantitative vegetation reconstructions in studies of past human settlements and use of resources – examples from Europe2015In: Geophysical Research Abstracts, 2015, Vol. 17Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a long tradition of collaboration between palaeoecologists and archaeologists in many parts of the world with the purpose of reconstructing the environment of humans through time and the study of the interactions between humans and their environment. Vegetation (i.e. vegetated landscapes and plants) has long been one of the most important parts of the environment for humans’ resources. Thanks to the interpretation of palaeoecological data such as pollen and plant macrofossils, it is well known that humans have used plants for their subsistence and formed many landscapes of the Earth through their activities over many millennia. Pollen analysis in particular has been used to reconstruct the landscapes of humans in order i) to learn something on their use of the landscape for building material, grazing and food (e.g. woods, grazed land, cultivated fields), and ii) to understand their influence on the landscape through deforestation in particular. Pollen data as proxy records of vegetation have been very useful to provide qualitative descriptions of cultural landscapes through time in terms of the presence of major tree, shrub and herb species, and the character of the landscape, wooded, “half-wooded” (or partly wooded), and primarily open (poorly wooded) (1). Efforts to calibrate pollen onto land-use in the 1990ies has made possible to provide more precise and detailed interpretation of pollen records in terms of land-use type (2). However, when it came to questions related to the size of cultivated land or grazed land in relation to wooded land, interpretation of pollen records has been problematic until recently. The non-linear relationship between pollen and vegetation due to inter-taxonomic differences in pollen productivity and pollen dispersion and deposition characteristics of plant taxa has long hampered estimation of the percentage cover of plant taxa or landscape units in the past. Thanks torecent developments in pollen-vegetation modelling, a new approach - the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) (3, 4) - makes it possible to estimate the cover of plant taxa or landscape units at both regional and local spatial scales using pollen records. The LRA has been tested and applied in various types of studies in Europe in particular. Examples from Europe and Scandinavia show that pollen-based quantitative reconstructions of vegetation cover, in combination with other palaeoecological records such as insect and plant macroremains, show the great potential of such studies to provide new insights on the use of landscapes and vegetation by humans in the past and its environmental consequences at both regional and local spatial scales (5, 6). These results provide a new environmental framework for the discussion and testing of hypotheses based on archaeological data.

  • 8.
    Marlon, Jennifer
    et al.
    University of Oregon, USA.
    Cui, Qiao-Yu
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    Gaillard, Marie-José
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
    McWethy, D.
    Montana State University, USA.
    Walsh, M.
    University of Oregon, USA.
    Humans and fire: Consequences of anthropogenic burning during the past 2 Ka2010In: PAGES News, ISSN 1811-1602, E-ISSN 1811-1610, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 80-82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The case studies here illustrate how the timing and consequences of anthropogenic interventions in natural fire regimes vary greatly across space and depend heavily on local ecological context; they also demonstrate why the cumulative

    global effects of anthropogenic impacts on fire regimes have been difficult to detect until the past two centuries (Fig. 2). Increasing efforts to synthesize existing paleoecological records (Power et al., 2009), and combine multiproxy evidence of paleoenvironmental changes with archeological data and modeling promise valuable advancements in our understanding of coupled human-natural systems in the past.

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